There are a lot of things to be overwhelmed about in your first year of teaching in Korea, from co-teacher relationships, to asserting your authority, to contract disputes. While our work load is usually pretty light, there are a few times a year when being the only foreigner in your school means you are in charge of one too many things. One of those times comes around at the end of each semester, when preparing for the Summer or Winter English Camp. With Summer Camp just around the corner, and with about 8 camps under my belt, I thought I would share some tips and advice with you that will hopefully ease some of the stress you may have about doing your first camp!
I remember how nervous I was doing my first camp at a public school, especially when only one student showed up and I had to scrap my whole plan on the first day. Eventually more students came, but since it was my first year at a public school, I wasn’t used to the whole last-minute, casual, nothing-is-as-serious-as-they-make-it-sound feel that I’m so accustomed to now. And it’s true, you have to be really flexible in this job — never be too invested or attached to any plan that you’ve made. Go with the flow and have fun with it!
You have a Deadline
So if you have a deadline for your camp plan and materials and you feel overwhelmed and you’re not sure where to start, I hope this is helpful for you. I would have loved to see this when I planned my first camp! If you want to see my camp book, watch the video! And if you have any camp horror stories or success stories I’d love to hear them! If you’ve taught before, what was your first camp like? Leave a comment!
Here are some Tips!
Here’s a quick summary of my process in preparing for English camp.
- Pick a fun theme! In the past I’ve done Dr. Seuss, Olympics (during the Olympics), and Superheroes.
- Make a broad outline – No details, just activities and big picture ideas.
- Make a materials list – You’ll probably need to turn in the outline and materials list to your co-teacher by a certain date, so check with him/her on this if you haven’t heard.
- Focus on your strengths – If you are great at making worksheets, by all means go to town and start making your book! If you’re great at making powerpoints or games, do that. Either way, focus on that and supplement the other elements of your camp with the plethora of materials online.
- Use the materials available to you – I usually use waygook.org, Pinterest for free printables, and education.com to source worksheets for my camp book.
- Have FUN! Don’t be afraid to do things that just sound fun to you! Want to play outdoor games with water balloons and water guns for your summer camp? Do it! Want to teach them a fun dance like the Cha Cha Slide? Do it! Want to tye-dye shirts to wear on the last day of camp? Awesome! Be creative. If you’re having fun, they will too.
When you’ve finished your camp, come back and let us know how it went! Did you have fun? Did the students enjoy it?